Aside from a dab rig, a dab nail is the other important dabbing gear you should have if you intend to enjoy your concentrates. Nails are the substance that receives the heat that turns your concentrates into vapor. The most common types are titanium nails. Some manufacturers use borosilicate glass to make nails but most glass nails shatter a lot faster.
Leading dab nails available from the Smoke Cartel and DankStop
The two online head shops sell all kinds of nails. Here is a peek at some of the leading items.
1. Thick 4-mm Banger Nail by DabWorthy (https://www.smokecartel.com/collections/titanium-ceramic-quartz-nails-and-dabber-tools/products/dabworthy-thick-style-quartz-banger)
This product is 100% quartz meaning it will let you enjoy the full nature of your concentrate including all the subtle flavors. It also has an incredible design that ensures the heat from the torch does not get to the surface of the dab rig. Moreover, the thickness (4-mm) decreases the chances of breakage. You as such can use this nail for a long time without worrying about replacements.
2. Female Angled Domeless Quartz Nail (http://dankstop.com/accessories/dab-tools/concentrate-nails-dabbers-and-carb-caps/quartz/female-angled-domeless-quartz-nail/)
This nail measures 2.5 inches comes with either 14-mm or 18-mm female joint, which fit in all standard male joints. DankStop uses only high-grade quartz to make this nail and as such, it is durable. The nail has an elevated dish design and an angled top to give you the best flavor from your concentrates, the easiest way possible.
3. Fully Adjustable Ceramic Nail (https://www.smokecartel.com/collections/titanium-ceramic-quartz-nails-and-dabber-tools/products/fully-adjustable-ceramic-nail)
This ceramic nail provides a safe, efficient and healthy way of enjoying your concentrates. It adjusts fully so you do not have to worry about the size of dome that comes with your dab rig. Moreover, the Smoke Cartel makes this nail out of very fine ceramic material. The nail as such, retains heat far better than titanium and glass nails do.
The nail comes in two sizes of 14-mm and 18.8-mm and these fit into male joints of similar lengths.
4. Male Titanium Banger Nail by Silika Glass (http://dankstop.com/accessories/concentrate-accessories/concentrate-nails-dabbers-and-carb-caps/titanium/silika-14mm-18mm-male-titanium-banger-nail/)
This Silika banger nail is available as either a 14-mm or an 18-mm male nail made from grade II titanium. It has an intriguing design such that its arm connects to the segment of the nail that leads to the dish. This design combined with titanium’s heat transfer capacity allows you to heat and enjoy your concentrates a safe distance from your dab rig. You as such will not experience heat stress, fractures that result from such stress and damages that result from heating nails too close to the joint.
This banger comes with a big dish and fits into standard 14-mm and 18-mm female joints.
5. Dozer Quartz Banger by UPC (https://www.smokecartel.com/collections/titanium-ceramic-quartz-nails-and-dabber-tools/products/upc-dozer-quartz-banger)
Crafted from high-grade quartz, this banger has a large bucket that facilitates perfect evaporation of concentrates even at low temperatures. Its design makes it possible to dab while comfortably keeping the heat away from your face as well as the glass.
The banger is available in four options, 14.5-mm male and female bangers as well as 18.8-mm male and female nails.
Dab Nail Selection Tips
While most dab rigs come with glass nails, most people already realize the limitations of these said nails. Glass nails are fragile. They also have comparatively low heat retention capacities and break easily compared to nails made of quartz, ceramic material or titanium.
These qualities are among the most important factors that concentrate connoisseurs need to consider when selecting dab nails. Other factors include:
– Materials – Essentially, dab nails are made from titanium, glass, quartz and ceramics. Out of all these, quartz and titanium and quartz are preferred. This is so because nails made from the materials last a lot longer, retain heat better and give you the best burning time compared to other nails.
– Flavor retention – Dabbing may be medicinal but that does not mean that you do not get all its good aspects. Getting full flavor of the concentrates is one of the reason people choose this method of enjoying the said concentrates. Quartz nails give the best flavor and as such are preferred.
– Better airflow – Domeless nails provide better airflow compared to nails that require domes to function properly. Domeless nails have holes and slits that facilitate better diffusion and vaporization. This ensures your smoke is flavorful while the hits are smooth.
Types of Dab Nails
Categorizing dab nails follows just two criteria. The first differentiates them based on materials used to make the said nails. The second criterion puts them apart based on whether they have or lack domes.
Based on the first criterion, there are four types of nails. These are glass, quartz, ceramic and titanium nails.
– Glass dab nails – these probably are the most common. They give great flavor, are easy to clean. They however do not last long and are unable to take too much heat.
– Ceramic dab nails – These have considerably better at heat retention but like glass, they break just as easily. They too are easy to clean.
– Quartz dab nails – These are made using quartz crystals. They withstand heat a lot better than glass and ceramics, give great flavor and are durable. Quartz nails however cool off a lot faster.
– Titanium dab nails – Titanium nails are the most common. They are indestructible, withstand high heat levels and possess great heat transfer capabilities. Unlike other metals, titanium has very low outgassing rates and as such, is harmless. Titanium nails do however introduce a metallic taste to your smoke. This distorts the aroma and full flavor emanating from your concentrates.
Dab Nail Sizes
Dab nails come in three distinct sizes. These are 10-mm, 14-mm and 18-mm pieces. These can be either male or female. The most important point however, is that when you use a slide or downstem, the size of your nail should match that of the downstem or slide you are using.
Dab Nail Prices
The prices of dab nails vary from as low as $20 to hundreds of dollars. The determining factor is the material the nail is made of as well as the complexity of the accessory. Glass nails for instance, are cheap while quartz and titanium dab nails will set you back several hundred of dollars, especially if you go for quartz or titanium electric nails.
How to Use Dab Nail
Dabbing appears a lot more complicated than rolling a stash of weed and straight out smoking it like most people are used to. Firstly, there are many instruments involved. When you get used to the process, you will realize that it is nothing but a straightforward affair.
Start by putting some water in the chamber of your rig then season your nail. Seasoning helps remove substances like polish that may distort the flavor of your vapor. Note that seasoning is only necessary when using the nail for the first time. After seasoning, place it in the rig and heat gently until it turns red. Then use a dabber to place wax or oil concentrate on the head of the nail.
Using a wand, pick a small portion of concentrate and set it aside. Now use a torch to heat your nail while ensuring the flame points away from the dab rig. Remove the heat source once the nail turns orange.
Wait for about 20 or 30 seconds then place the wax on your nail. Rub the portion of the wand that has the dab on the inner edges of the nail and inhale the resulting vapor using the downstem of your dab rig.
Repeat this process as required. When you finish, remove the nail from the rig and clean both the wand and the nail.